Hawaii Marriage and Reciprocal Beneficiary Laws

Hawaii marriage and reciprocal beneficiary laws plus common-law marriage information.

What are the requirements for getting legally married in Hawaii?

Hawaii does not require a blood test before a marriage license will be issued. You can marry immediately after your marriage license is issued, and your license is good for 30 days after it's issued. After that time, you'll have to get a new one before you can marry.

In Hawaii, as in most states, you must be of the age of consent, not be too closely related to your intended spouse, not be married to anyone else, and have sufficient "mental capacity," meaning you understand what you are doing when you marry.

Does Hawaii have common-law marriage?

No. In Hawaii, you must obtain a marriage license and enter into a legal marriage in order to be considered married. Living together and taking the same name don't create a common-law marriage.

Does Hawaii have same-sex marriage?

No. Only persons of the opposite sex may get married in Hawaii. However, Hawaii does offer same-sex civil unions that offer basically the same rights as married couples under Hawaii state law. Same-sex couples who are legally married in other states will be treated as civil union partners in Hawaii. Opposite-sex couples and people outside of romantic relationships also still have the option to enter into a "reciprocal beneficiary" relationship. Reciprocal beneficiaries in Hawaii gain inheritance rights and hospital visitation rights, but none of the other rights of legal marriage.

Learn about the proper legal steps to define and protect your relationship in the eyes of the law with Living Together: A Legal Guide, by Attorney Ralph Warner, Toni Ihara, J.D. and Attorney Frederick Hertz (Nolo), or Legal Guide for Lesbian & Gay Couples, by attorneys Denis Clifford, Frederick Hertz and Emily Doskow (Nolo).

Last updated 06/08/12

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